Doodad Kind of Town


This Blog interrupted due to Technical Difficulties
August 27, 2007, 1:41 am
Filed under: Uncategorized

I got back from New York a week ago, fully intending to blog up a storm about my trip. Unfortunately, another “little” storm blew up by the time I was ready to write.

The first part of my week was hectic – I had earmarked Thursday for some serious writing time. But, as we all now know, a horrific storm hit the Chicago area late Thursday afternoon, resulting in over 500,000 homes without power. Count me among that unlucky half million. My electricity was out from roughly 3pm on Thursday till 7 pm on Saturday. So much for computer time!

My NYC trip a fast-fading memory now, as my energies over the last few days have been mainly focused on dealing with the aftermath of the storm.

I spent Thursday night listening to my IPod by candlelight, trying to make the best of a frustrating situation. On Friday morning, I took a very short shower in freezing cold water (easy to forget that the water heater runs on electricity, too!). After coming home to a dark apartment on Friday night, I decided to go to a hotel, just to be able to read, watch TV and take a hot shower on Saturday morning. I called four local hotels before I was able to get a room. The desk clerk at the Courtyard Marriott where I eventually stayed told me that they had booked 70 rooms in less than 3 hours that day. Apparently everyone had the same idea. I was grateful to have a comfy king size bed to sleep in, some HBO to watch, and a complimentary breakfast in the morning. (Most amusing amenity at the Courtyard Marriott – the “alternative grain”-inspired toiletries: Quinoa shampoo, Amaranth Conditioner, Barley Body Wash. )

On Saturday, I put on my best positive attitude and savored the beautiful weather that had arrived after a full week of nasty rainstorms. I got my hair cut and colored (the salon had power, at least) and even attended a street festival in a neighboring suburb, enjoying jambalaya, peach cobbler and great music (a group called Wedding Band, doing enthusiastic covers of Tom Petty, Guns and Roses, Kiss and Lynrd Skynrd.) Coming home late that night to an apartment with the lights on and the air conditioning running was a wonderful relief.

I joked to a friend today that “you’ll never know how much you’ll miss your electricity till it’s gone.” And losing power for more than a few hours is a pain in the ass. But, as I tried to keep reminding myself, it could be SO much worse. After all, I’m not living in Baghdad. I’m not living in Darfur. I didn’t get wiped out by Hurricane Katrina – my apartment may have been dark and a little warm, but it was intact. So I don’t want to do too much bitching….however….

… even though the power is back on now, the “digging out” continues. Today, I had to throw out everything in my fridge, and make a pricey trip to the supermarket to replenish the food supply. (I didn’t realize how pricey it would be till I added up the costs of replacing my rather large collection of refrigerated condiments. It’s not just catsup, mustard and mayo for me. I keep at least 3 varieties of low fat salad dressing, a couple jars of sugar-free fruit spread, some sugar-free pancake syrup, manzanilla and kalamata olives, and buffalo wing sauce on hand at all times. Call me crazy, but those are staples at my house.). And then, there is the matter of the flooded basement – where our laundry room and storage closets are located. At this moment, there are several inches of standing water down there – tomorrow, it’ll be drained, then we have to get everything out of our closets so the floors can be cleaned. I’m sure some of my stuff will have to be thrown out, though I believe most of it is in sturdy plastic (i.e. WATERPROOF) Rubbermaid bins.

Eventually, I’ll have something to say about New York – my new favorite cafe, early morning walks on Park Avenue, the black, peep-toe heels I picked up at Steve Madden on 86th Street. But it’ll keep till the last of the storm damage is assessed and tidied up.

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